No, not that kind of streaker. You know, the kind someone (hopefully not you) did in college on a dare. The kind that can be an even more exciting concept that can transform your life. It is called Postive Behavioral Streaks (PBS). Imagine if every time you completed a task, you got a gold star, just like in kindergarten. Sounds fun, right? Well, that’s the essence of PBS, a simple yet powerful tool to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. I found that being a concrete, sequential tax professional (aka a little OCD), streaks help me accomplish more in a short period of time.
Understanding PBS: The Gold Star System for Grown-Ups
Positive Behavioral Streaks work on a simple principle: consistency is key. It’s about creating a chain of positive actions and keeping it going. Each day you complete a task, you get a virtual (or real, if you’re into crafts) gold star. The aim? Don’t break the chain. It’s like playing a game where the prize is a better you! Here are some things you can create a streak for as a tax professional that will help you either personally, in your business or both.
Mentally: Turn Your Brain into a Knowledge Sponge
Let’s start with mental growth. Ever wanted to be that person who knows a little about everything? PBS makes it possible.
- Book Worming: Set a goal to read, say, 10 pages a day. Each day you do, give yourself a star. Soon, you’ll have devoured books on topics from astrophysics to zen gardening.
- Writing Buff: If writing is your thing, commit to writing a daily blog post or email. It could be about anything: your cat’s philosophical musings, new tax tips for your clients or how to stay out of trouble with the IRS. Star it up!
- Podcast Power Hour: Listen to a podcast episode each day. From marketing tips, new tax ideas, to running a business, there’s a podcast for everything. You might not learn a lot, but you might learn one new nugget of information, look at some concept from a different angle that will help you explain things better to clients or just might inspire some great idea.
Physically: From Couch Potato to Fitness Fries
Now, let’s get physical, and no, I don’t mean an Olivia Newton-John workout tape.
- 10-Minute Movement: Commit to 10 minutes of exercise daily. It could be yoga, a brisk walk, or shadow boxing (fighting imaginary enemies has never been so healthy). Mark your calendar with a star each day you do it. This will be especially key for tax professionals during tax season. If you have staff, encourage them to do the same. Even consider rewarding them with cash, gift cards, prizes for those that can keep the streak going the longest.
- Hydration Nation: Drink a certain amount of water each day. It’s simple, but it’s a game-changer. You’ll be so hydrated; you could put a cactus to shame. This is HUGE. You don’t do this, and you will be feeling horrible in no time as you let the toxins build up that aren’t getting flushed out.
- Sleep Streaks: Aim for a consistent bedtime to get enough sleep. Trust me, your body and that alarm clock will thank you. Sleep is important to you having good brain function and a clear mind. Foggy brain will only get you in trouble or possibly sued.
Spiritually: Soul Food for Thought
Finally, let’s talk about feeding your soul. No, not with pizza – with activities that nourish your inner self.
- Meditation Marathon: Okay, not an actual marathon. But meditating even for 5 minutes a day can be revolutionary. You could find inner peace or at least find where you left your keys.
- Gratitude Graffiti: Write down one thing you’re grateful for each day. It can be as profound as family or as simple as “My coffee didn’t suck today.”
- Kindness Chain: Do one kind act a day – it could be complimenting someone or not laughing at your neighbor who just tripped over their lawn gnome.
Additional Tasks to Incorporate into Your PBS
- Cooking Quest: Cook a new recipe each week. Who knows, you might be the next Masterchef or at least not burn toast.
- Language Leap: Learn a few words of a new language every day. Soon, you could be saying “Where’s the bathroom?” in 12 different languages.
- Money Matters: Track your spending daily. It’s like a diet for your wallet – painful but beneficial.
- Digital Detox: Limit social media use to a specific time each day. Watch your productivity soar and your FOMO plummet.
- Green Thumb Club: Spend some time each day gardening or taking care of a house plant. Talk to them; plants love gossip.
Creating Your Reward System
Now, for the fun part: rewards. For every week you don’t break the chain, treat yourself. It could be anything from a fancy coffee to a lazy Sunday binge-watching your favorite series (Hello, “Game of Thrones” reruns). The key is to make the reward something you look forward to – it’s the carrot at the end of the stick, except it’s a carrot you actually want.
Wrapping Up: Your PBS Journey
So there you have it, folks – your guide to becoming a PBS star. Remember, the goal isn’t to be perfect; it’s to be consistent. And when you inevitably miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Just start a new chain. Before you know it, you’ll be mentally sharper, physically fitter, and spiritually richer.
And if all else fails, just remember: in the grand PBS of life, you’re doing way better than the guy who thought eating a Tide Pod was a good idea. Happy streaking (the PG kind, please)!
Dan Henn, CPA, CTR™
Tax Pro Academy, LLC